Current Affairs Update – 6th August, 2015

Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 6th August, 2015. These are Important for the upcoming UIIC Assistant and IBPS RRB 2015 Exam.

Finance
CBDT signed two
unilateral Advance Pricing Agreements to usher in tax certainty
  • Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) on 3 August 2015 signed
    two unilateral Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs) with two Multi-National
    Companies (MNCs). The aim of the APAs is to user in an era of certainty in
    taxation.
  • This includes for the first time an APA with “Rollback”
    provision which means extending the tax certainty for nine financial years as
    against five years in APAs without “Rollback”.
  • With this, the CBDT has so far signed 14 APAs of which 13
    are unilateral APAs and one is a bilateral APA. The 14 APAs signed relate to
    various sectors like telecommunication, oil exploration, pharmaceuticals,
    finance/banking, software development services and ITeS (BPOs).
  • APAs are a means to settle transfer prices and of setting
    prices of international transactions in advance. There are two types of APAS,
    viz., unilateral APA and bilateral APA.

Centre liberalises
single-brand retail norms

  • India might see a flurry of single-brand retailers entering
    , with the government allowing them to operate across multiple platforms. As a
    result, a number of proposals, including ones by Tommy Hilfiger, Swarovski,
    H&M, Nike and Adidas, among others, might soon get the government’s nod to
    open stores here.
  • The government believes there was an “anomaly” in
    the previous policy that had “confused” the retailers who wanted to
    expand here in a big way. The policy, as was drafted by the previous
    government, did not explicitly clarify that retailers could operate in multiple
    formats as long as the investment was done through different entities.
  • Several single-brand retailers might soon get government
    approval to operate in multiple formats
  • Government has now allowed single-brand retailers to operate
    their own outlets, franchise stores and wholesale
  • Large number of investment proposals by marquee
    international brands were held up due to lack of clarity in policy
  • Government believes since franchise money comes into the
    current account and FDI proceeds in capital account, there is no violation of
    rules
  • Single-brand retailers have also been demanding government
    relax mandatory 30 per cent sourcing norms

FICCI, ILO signed MoU
to establish National Coordination Centre for SCORE Training Services
  • The International Labour Organisation (ILO) and Federation
    of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) on 5 August 2015 signed the
    Phase II of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for cooperation for
    establishing a National Coordination Centre for Sustaining Competitive and
    Responsible Enterprises (SCORE) Training Services in India.
  • The MoU will contribute to holistic development of the SMEs
    in India from the perspective of skill development, employees’ relation and
    better business efficiency.
  • The objective of the MoU is to draw a framework for
    coordination and cooperation between the ILO and AIOE/FICCI that will result in
    phase-wise capacity building of the ‘Centre’ in the national coordination of
    SCORE training services in India.

Murugappa Group
signed agreement with Organo Corp to form Joint Venture
  • The water treatment engineering company Polutech Limited of
    Murugappa Group on 4 August 2015 signed an agreement with Japan-based Organo
    Corp to form a Joint venture (JV) of an industrial water treatment requirement
    company.
  • As per the agreement, the Murugappa Group will hold 51
    percent in JV and the remaining portion will be with the Organo Group. The
    estimated new venture will deal in industrial water treatment requirements
    services to meet growing demand of industries for waste water management.
  • Murugappa Group’s Polutech manufactures equipment and
    designing systems for water and waste water treatment plants. It is a complete
    turnkey solution provider in raw water and effluent treatment systems and
    claims to have executed numerous projects over 30 years across industries.
  • While, Organo is a key player in general water treatment
    engineering. It provides water treatment systems, management and maintenance of
    delivered systems and also deals in sales of standard products and chemicals.

Union Cabinet
approved direct release of wages into bank accounts of MNREGA workers
  • The Union Cabinet on 5 August 2015 approved release of wages
    directly to the accounts of the workers engaged under the Mahatma Gandhi
    National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).
  • The decision in this regard was taken by the Cabinet,
    chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in New Delhi.
  • As per the scheme, the wage component of MGNREGA will be
    released following the State Employment Guarantee Fund window directly to the
    worker’s accounts. The transfer will be based on a fund transfer order to be
    generated by states’ implementing agencies in accordance with procedures
    prescribed by Rural Development Ministry.
  • The decision is aimed at further streamlining the flow of
    funds and to empower state governments to deliver entitlements as per the
    objectives of the Act.

Practo raises $90mn
in series C funding led by Tencent
  • Healthcare platform Practo today announced that it has
    raised $90 million (Rs. 574 crore) in Series C funding. This round was led by
    Tencent, with participation from investors including Sofina, Sequoia India,
    Google Capital, Altimeter Capital, Matrix Partners, Sequoia Capital Global
    Equities and Yuri Milner.
  • This round of funding comes a few months after closing a $30
    million (Rs. 191 crore) Series B round of funding from Sequoia India and Matrix
    Partners. After the three series of funding, total funds raised by Practo is
    $125 million (Rs. 797 crore).
  • After the successful funding, Practo plans on expanding the
    product lines and look for potential acquisition of companies over the next
    three to six months. Practo also plans on adding to its team of 1,500 ‘Practeons’.

India
India, Mozambique
signed MoU to boost ties in Renewable Energy Sector

  • India and Mozambique on 5 August 2015 signed Memorandum of
    understanding (MoU) to deepen cooperation in New and Renewable Energy Sector.
    The agreement was signed during the official visit of Filipe Nyusi, President
    of Mozambique to India.
  • Moreover, both nations also agreed to intensify cooperation
    in maritime security and ocean economy as both the countries have large
    coastlines and are linked by Indian Ocean.
  • India’s strong relation with this south eastern African
    nation will play important larger role in its foreign policy in Africa and the
    Indian Ocean region. Mozambique will also play prominent role to meet India’s
    energy security as it is a proximate source of natural gas, coal and other
    minerals.

Airtel Becomes First
Telco to Launch 4G Services Across India

  • Bharti Airtel on 6 August 2015 launched pan-India 4G
    high-speed data services. The service was launched in 296 towns across India
    and it will be available to customers through 4G-enabled mobile phones,
    internet dongles and Wi-Fi routers.
  • With this the largest telecom company of India became the
    first company to roll out the pan-India 4G network which is built on an open
    partner ecosystem model.
  • In order to roll out the 4G services, Airtelhas exclusively
    partnered with mobile manufacturer major Samsung and 4G service will be
    available at 3G prices with packs starting at 25 rupees.
  • Besides, Airtel also announced the launch of a carrier
    agnostic mobile app ‘Wynk Movies’ that offers a library of thousands of movies
    and other popular videos.

Haryana’s CM Manohar
Lal launched ‘Thari Pension Thare Pass’ scheme
  • Haryana Chief Minister, Manohar Lal Khattar on 4 August 2015
    launched scheme named Thari Pension Thare Pass in Chandigarh.
  • Khattar launched the scheme by pressing a button that
    allowed transfer of social security pensions of July 2015 amounting to about 119
    crore  rupees directly into the bank
    accounts of eligible beneficiaries under the scheme.
  • He also transferred the arrear of pension from March to June
    2015 amounting to 13.23 crore rupees.
  • The scheme launched with a view to ensure transparency in
    disbursement of social security pensions will be implemented phase wise.

Appointments
Indian-American Atul
Keshap confirmed Ambassador to Sri Lanka

  • Indian-American Atul Keshap has been confirmed as the U.S.
    Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives, becoming the second Indian-origin
    diplomat to be posted to the region after Richard Rahul Verma.
  • Mr. Keshap (44), a former official at the US Embassy in
    India, was on Wednesday confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the country’s envoy
    which would be his first Ambassadorial posting.
  • He is currently working as Deputy Assistant Secretary of
    State in South and Central Asian Affairs Bureau of State Department. He joined
    the Foreign Service in 1994.
  • Mr. Keshap and Mr. Verma, the U.S. envoy to India, both
    trace their origin to Punjab.
  • He was the deputy political counsellor at the U.S. Embassy in
    New Delhi from 2005 to 2008.
  • Mr. Keshap also served as special assistant for the Middle
    East, North Africa, and South Asia for the under secretary of state for
    political affairs.

Ashish Dasgupta assumes
charge as Air India Engineering Services’ new ED
  • Ashish Dasgupta has taken over as Executive
    Director-Engineering, Air India Engineering Services Ltd (AIESL), at the
    airline’s headquarters in New Delhi with effect from August 3.
  • Prior to this, he was holding the position of GM (Engineering),
    Station Head Hyderabad.
  • He was involved with the operation of the brand new
    maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility at Hyderabad.
  • Ashish Dasgupta is a qualified aircraft maintenance engineer
    (AME) having DGCA licence on all Airbus family aircraft.
  • He joined Indian Airlines in the year 1981 as a AME trainee
    in eastern region and held several top managerial positions at the airline’s headquarters
    in New Delhi, southern region and was also associated with the engineering
    activities in western region, Mumbai.

Awards
& Honors –
Zhanna Nemtsova
awarded with Poland’s Solidarity Prize 2015

  • Zhanna Nemtsova, the daughter of slain Russian politician
    Boris Nemtsov, was on 5 August 2015 awarded with Poland’s Solidarity Prize
    2015. Nemtsova received the award for championing democracy and human rights.
  • She received 1.1 million US dollars human rights prize as a
    recognition. Presently, Nemtsova works for German broadcaster Deutsche Welle in
    Berlin.
  • Nemtsova, a former journalist at Russian business news
    channel RBK, left Russia in June 2014 after her father was assassinated by
    unknown assailants on 27 February 2014.

NLC confers ‘Most
Influential CFOs of India’ award on Director, Finance
  • The Chartered Institute of Management Accounts, (CIMA) has
    conferred on Rakesh Kumar, Director, Finance, NLC the prestigious award the
    “Most Influential CFOs (Chief Financial Officers) of India”.
  • He was honoured in recognition of his contribution and
    outstanding work in the field of finance for more than three decades.
  • The award was instituted by CIMA, the world’s largest and
    leading professional body of management accountants, to honour CFOs with a
    proven track record of performance, achievements and contribution to the
    business.
  • B. Surender Mohan, CMD, NLC congratulated the NLC Finance
    Director and handed over the award to him at the NLC corporate office, Neyveli.

List
Forbes released the
World’s Highest-Paid Actors 2015 list
  • Forbes on 4 August 2015 released the list of 2015 World’s
    Highest-Paid Actors. The list, that includes names of 34 global actors, was
    topped by Robert Downey Jr., for the third year in a row, with earnings of 80
    million US dollars.
  • Jackie Chan was placed at the second place in the list with
    earnings of 50 million US dollars. Vin Diesel stood at the third spot with
    earnings of 47 million US dollars.

Top ten in the list are
  1. Robert Downey Jr. stood at top position in the list with
    earnings of 80 Million US dollars
  2. Jackie Chan stood at second position with earnings of 50
    Million US dollars
  3. Vin Diesel stood at third position with earnings of 47
    Million US dollars
  4. Bradley Cooper stood at fourth position with earnings of
    41.5 Million US dollars
  5. Adam Sandler with stood at fifth position with earnings of
    41 Million US dollars
  6. Tom Cruise stood at sixth position with earnings of 40
    Million US dollars
  7. Amitabh Bachchan and Salman Khan stood at seventh position
    with earnings of 33.5 Million US dollar
  8. Akshay Kumar stood at ninth position with earnings of 32.5
    Million US dollars
  9. Mark Wahlberg stood at tenth position with earnings of 32
    Million US dollars

World
NASA signed 490
million US dollars contract with Russia for International Space Station travel
  • NASA on 5 August 2015 signed a contract worth 490 million US
    dollars with Russia’s space agency Roscosmos for carrying the US astronauts to
    the International Space Station (ISS). The contract was signed amid a lack of
    Congressional funding.
  • The US space agency in a statement said that the US will
    continue to rely exclusively on Russia to take astronauts to the orbiting
    outpost under the new contract, which runs until 2019.
  • NASA further said a lack of funding for development of
    private vessels by US companies Boeing and Space-X over the last five years has
    left NASA with no other option. As a result, the US will pay for use of space
    vessels belonging to the Roscosmos.

Ukraine Lifts Ban on
HIV-Positive Visitors

  • Ukraine said today it had removed its restriction on entry
    and foreign travel for HIV-positive people as part of growing efforts to
    improve relations with Europe after decades of Moscow rule.
  • The ex-Soviet state’s Deputy Health Minister Igor Pereginets
    said the repeal of the 14-year ban was one of the conditions put forward by the
    European Union in the ongoing visa-free travel talks.
  • Kiev hopes to strike an unrestricted travel agreement with
    Brussels next year and apply for EU membership by 2020.
  • Ukraine’s human rights commissioner called the health
    ministry’s decision “a significant step forward in our defence of human
    rights.”

Obituaries
World War-II hero
Colonel Harwant Singh passed away
  • Colonel Harwant Singh (retd), a World War-II hero, died on 4
    August 2015 at Patiala. He was 95. He was officer-in-charge of the flag
    hoisting ceremony on the first Independence Day of India in 1947.
  • Commissioned in 2nd battalion of the Sikh Regiment in September
    1941, Singh served in Iraq, Palestine, North Africa, Cyprus and Italy during
    World War-II for the British Army. On the outbreak of hostilities with Pakistan
    in October 1947, colonel Harwant Singh was one of the leading company
    commanders who was airlifted to Srinagar.
  • Later in 1951, he was transferred to the Rajputana Rifles
    when the state forces began to be merged with the Indian army. He commanded 18
    Rajputana Rifles, 6 Rajputana Rifles and the Rajputana Regimental Centre.



Regards

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